Building a business is like building a skyscraper, you must have a strong foundation in order for it to grow, be stable and to withstand storms. Building the foundation should start from the beginning! You wouldn't add the roof without the base right? But If you're already years into a business it's okay. Let's get you focused on the foundation and do some reconstruction where we need to.
Your company values are the "why" behind what you do. Your company values start with you, as the business owner, because you started this company with a purpose and for a reason. But what was it? So many companies lose sight of their purpose as they grow. This can be a result of becoming hungry for success or it can be a lack of training. It's important for you and your team to define and clearly understand what the company values- what you and the company stand for. And, your personal values don't have to be exactly the same of your company values, but they definitely shouldn't be contradictory.
When there's clarity around your core values, the pillars that your company should be built on, it guarantees that the people who are contributing to your growth are always keeping the right values in mind. Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to find clarity around your values:
What is the solution your company provides?
Who is your target customer profile?
Why are they your target?
What are your boundaries?
Who will you not work with? What services fall in your scope of the services you will and won't provide?
In addition to identifying your company values, you will want to intentionally develop company culture. These are the shared values, goals and attitudes that characterize your company and will be embodied by the people within it. This is important for your company when it comes to hiring and employee retention. We've all had bad bosses and most likely left a job because of one. This is your opportunity to create an atmosphere where your employees are happy, successful and have room for growth. You will be able to create company culture in many ways.
- Employee development opportunities, such as training or education.
- Employee incentives: holidays, work events, remote work options.
- Improving growth through positive reinforcement.
- Goal setting with bonuses, rewards, etc.
- Inclusivity for employees to encourage growth and achievement. This can be including entry level team members in meetings with senior management for them to observe and take notes.
Role creep is a real thing. This is when someone's workload or assignment begins to overlap into someone else's domain. For example, if you have a copywriter and a social media manager and you need a blog written. This is a task the copywriter would typically fulfill, but if you ask the social media manager to do so – this is considered role creep. This can cause conflict, tension and confrontation within your company.
In order to avoid any conflict it is important to have very defined roles. This comes down to who performs certain tasks and what tasks that do fall in their scope to perform.
For example, in your company a copywriter does the blog writing, website copy and newsletter copy. But they don't do any social media captions or ad copy.
This not only avoids any overlap but it also is more efficient for workflow. Your team members will also feel more confident in their role when it is not being threatened by other team members overlapping with them.
What does growth mean to you? Growth can mean an increase in the number of clients, an increase in your revenue or scaling the entire company. It's important to establish very defined goals for growth- and detail a strategy to get you there. When you have clarity for the direction of your growth you can better stay on track. There will definitely be twists and turns along the way, because entrepreneurship is not linear. But your defined goals will help you keep your eye on the prize!
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A foundation is very important whether you are a solopreneur or building an empire! Keep your values at the forefront, have clear goals and always be aware of your numbers.